Dating problems I do not want to have to solve

Image by the brilliant Stuart F Taylor

The problem with suddenly becoming single is that it throws up a bunch of dating problems that I very much hoped I would never have to deal with. I appreciate that absolutely none of these are serious – they are all things I’ll happily overcome, about which my whining is intended to be no more than a brief and amusing distraction as you trip down whichever path your Wednesday happens to be taking. My current mantra, as life gets harder, is ‘I like doing difficult things.’ Doing difficult things is incredibly empowering, and having the freedom to do those things excites me. Nevertheless, as I start to explore the ways I will throw myself into the exciting hard stuff, I can’t help but bump up against dating problems that I genuinely do not want to tackle. Here is a brief (and likely non-exhaustive list) of things I can’t be arsed with.

Teach new men how to fuck me

Good sex is primarily about communication, and I am lazy as fuck. Yes, of course, if I shag someone new I will ask them questions in a sultry voice and encourage them to moan and grunt when I’m doing something right, and I’ll do my best to return the favour so they know how to compel me to make the deliciously involuntary noises.

But really? Honestly? Truly? I can’t be arsed. Give me men I’ve already fucked, who know the shape of my body and the weight of my baggage. Men who aren’t looking for someone who’ll impress them, but someone who’ll hang out with them and share a laugh over beers. Men for whom sex is a nice bonus to an evening, not a climax to which they look forward, raising their expectations so high that they will never be anything but disappointed. Casual sex, casually: that’s my fucking jam.

Have actual naked sex with – let’s face it – a stranger

My body is my body and I’m actually pretty pleased with it right now. That surprises me to realise, but I am. It’s powerful and strong and can cycle all the way across London if it has to. Its arms can heft furniture and its hands can make seriously cool things out of wood.

Unfortunately, the idea of actually stripping off my clothes and showing this body to a total stranger sends shivers of fear down my spine. So vulnerable! So bare! So entirely-not-what-I’m-used-to! Since I stopped fucking people other than my other half, I estimate I’ve only shown my fully naked body to five other human beings in total – all were in group-sex scenarios where he was there to cheer me on, and most of those people were already my actual mates.

I like my body right now, in fact I love it. But what if these strangers laugh at the shape of it? What if my tits aren’t fashionable these days? What if they mention my body hair and I have to immediately usher them towards the bin where they belong?

Deal with dating during Covid

I used to quite enjoy dating. Meeting someone new over beers after work, chatting shit and learning about them and working out if we would mesh? It was fun. I had a few terrible dates, sure, and a reasonably decent share of suitors-acting-like-spammers, but broadly I found dating to be a fun distraction from my otherwise tedious office-based life.

But now? Now? How do you date when anyone you meet might be carrying a disease that’ll kill the people you love? Zoom is too awkward, and parks don’t have loos, and how much can you really learn about someone over a single small can of M&S gin and tonic under a tree somewhere in Hackney? I guess I’ll have to dust off my one-drink-bailout rule, for toilet purposes if nothing else.

Dating problems that only apply to me: solving GOTN

I realise this falls under the category of ‘dating problems that are remarkably specific’ but it’s the biggest ethical conundrum. At what point do I tell the people I might fuck that I write a fairly popular blog about fucking? I obviously can’t put it in my profile: that’s where photos are. And I can’t exactly tell them in the first five minutes of a date:

Them: So what do you do?

Me: I write all the intimate details of my emotions and my wanking and my sex life on the internet, for clicks and money.

Them: …

Me: Also I make audio porn!

King of all the dating problems for me: I cannot tell someone I’m GOTN before I’ve established a connection, and trust. And I cannot establish trust without lying by omission about my job. I would obviously want to tell someone before I drafted any blog posts about how lovely their dick was (#consent, innit), but by that point they’d have shown me their fucking dick and they might be understandably annoyed to discover that the woman they’d shown their dick to had been less than up-front about her job/hobby/raison d’etre.

My ex gave me many precious things, have I told you that? He was incredibly supportive, and one of the most precious gifts he gave me was the confidence and permission to do this weird thing that I do. When we first started dating, in the very early days, I explained to him that I’d always wanted to write, and laid out my plans for a blog where I could be gleefully fuck-hungry in public. He told me: go for it. When I spiralled into anxiety during my final ever day job, he urged me to focus on the blog: you can do this! Make a go of it! Be GOTN! He called it our ‘moon shot.’ Periodically I’d check in and ask him ‘are you sure? I know it’s A Lot’ and he’d kiss me and hold me and tell me it was OK, then let me run and fly and make this happen.

So what do I do now? I can’t date people who already know I’m GOTN (although obviously, inevitably, there are a few people I will definitely ask because I’d kick myself if I didn’t). But realistically, although hope and optimism springs eternal, I am not sure any of these will amount to anything other than wild disappointment for them. First, there’s the issue of how we navigate a date: I have built up so many walls around GOTN that the idea of dialling her in to a videochat in which people can see (and potentially screengrab) her actual face brings me out in cold sweats. Then there’s the fact that if you read this blog you know what a mess I am about my ex and how rebound-fucky our first shag would probably be. On top of that, you might expect miracles: replays of my greatest hits with fuckmachines and dildo orgies: pressure piled on pressure piled on panic.

Finally – importantly – you’ll learn I’m just a person. Not a sex kitten or a superhero or a powerful, badass bitch: just a normal person, wobbly and fucked-up, sweating in the heat of summer and desperate for men to like her.



  • Oxyfromsg says:

    I think your just going to have to take it as it comes. LIke everyone but with some specific problems of your own.
    Lucky you have a resource to help your future guy learn how to fuck you, the blog. Once you find someone thats fine with your job, you job will then help educate and teach him. It might even turn into a huge advantage.
    And anyone your trying to date will have the same insecuraties and worries.
    Really, you sum it up at the end. Your just a normal human being. And so will they be. And if its meant to work, it will work.
    As for being liked, if there is one thing your blog has taught me (well, there have been a fair few things) is that under it all, you a kind compasionate thoughtful and damm right likeable person.
    And whoever you end up with will be lucky to have you.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Ah the idea of blog as resource-for-someone-to-learn feels a little weird to me. I could definitely point them towards a few posts and say ‘this is the kind of thing I like’ but I think so much of it is also driven by my responses to what worked for my ex (and other dudes who came before him). I wouldn’t want to stymie any potential future new kinks/fun/ideas with something too prescriptive. But yeah it’d definitely be good to find someone who could/would *read* my blog and get massively turned on by it. I guess that’s a good way to tell if we’re going to be compatible!

      Also thank you for the lovely compliments – you are a star and I am very lucky to have you on my team <3

  • Tim says:

    I don’t have any pearls of wisdom to share, but just to say that you’re great at what you do and I’m rooting for you!

  • fuzzy says:


    “So what do you do for a living?” I’m an online consultant for retail, and I also do some blogging.

    “Oh? What do you blog?” Well you know how some people have children, and when they date you don’t get to meet the children until you’ve reached a certain point in the relationship? Well I’m a semi-public/semi-private personality, and I don’t connect those dots with potential relationships until they reach a Certain Point. So I’m not going to lie to you, but I’m not going to tell you everything either, and you need to be comfortable with that for us to continue…(smiles endearingly and somewhat mysteriously). Why don’t we talk about you and about woodworking and not my “job”?

    Personally I’d be all in at that point, ha-ha. And with regards to the discovery that you are GOTN, if they aren’t pleased as punch to have a literal fucking guide to you and don’t have the confidence to not panic more than about oh 24 hours, then they are probably not the best choice for you.

    I have every confidence that you’ll be fine! Best.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Thank you <3 Also yeah I reckon that's a v good strategy! Although the worry is that as soon as you say something vague-yet-intriguing like that, people might go looking. But then... if they're those kind of people then they're probably not cool for me anyway, so that is an excellent way to sort the nosy-wheat from the respectful-chaff. Or the other way round, depending on whether we're after wheat or chaff.

    • Jul says:

      I love this except for one thing: my first reaction was “Oh no, what if it’s about AB/DL or vore? I can’t get into that stuff!” Of course, the fact that my mind went to extreme kinks means I assumed sex was involved. If you were a dude, that could be more menacing (is he an incel? Does he write about blowing up government buildings?), but yeah, I’m with fuzzy, the mystery is fun and intriguing.

      P.S. The only thing hotter than knowing that other people are reading my partner’s drooling descriptions of fucking me is reading them myself. I would be overjoyed and honored to be a sex writer’s subject. That’s just me, but I know I’m not alone.

      • Jul says:

        P.P.S. GOTN, I know you’re totally not a kink-shamer, nor would I want you to be, but I bet you could get an interesting post out of Kinks That Are a Bridge Too Far, and Why. Torture and coprophilia are off the menu for me, yet I’m madly in love with Jenby’s blog, which is basically a list of my hard limits. Go figure. Anyway, yeah, always curious to know what a sexually open person’s disinterests are, since we spend so much time talking about what we like.

        • Girl on the net says:

          Ohhh yeah Jenby has such an excellent way with words that many many of the topics she covers are ones that fall under ‘not my kink’ yet still…. I totally *get it*. I think the sign of a massively skilled sex writer is if they can make you horny for stuff that isn’t really your cup of tea.

          I could do a post about limits I reckon, that’s a great idea! Thanks! I’ll have a think =) x

  • I have always wondered – and this is not something I’ve ever been able to puzzle out – what it may be like to date, or be in a relationship with, someone who doesn’t know I’m a sex blogger. Even my first relationship – at the ages of 17/18 – happened as a result of blogging (on respective LiveJournals, so not exactly overly sex-related, but still…). All three successive relationships happened with the full and explicit knowledge that I am ILB – in fact, it’s ILB that all three were interested in first. I’ve been told I’m quite similar to my online persona in real life, which… helps…?

    The only people I’ve ever been intimate with since I started sex blogging (Lilly; snowdrop) are people I only saw once, or never really ended up in a relationship with. I almost told snowdrop, once, that I was a sex blogger, but I wasn’t ready to reveal such a thing when she already found me sexually attractive for nebulous reasons completely unconnected.

    My assumption, therefore – as it has to be, through necessity, an assumption – is that any sort of serious relationship has to have, at some point, the “I’m a sex blogger” talk, in order to head off the questions when they see the compose window you’ve left open, notes you’ve taken on scrap paper… or stumble across your blog and recognise themselves, which I suppose may indeed happen if you are GOTN. If you’re going to casually date (which now sounds like an American concept now I type it out), then I’m not entirely sure you need to make that Earth-shattering revelation during the first few minutes of conversation.

    Ay me, this is difficult.

    But I’m going to defer to fuzzy here, as well – this blog is, as well as a wonderfully-written example of entertainment through prose, an incredibly detailed guide to you, your sex life: peaks, troughs and all. It’s a lot, but then, everyone is a lot. If someone can handle that, they can handle anything. And that’s a good sign.

    Oh, and don’t worry. You’ll be fine. Even if not, you know… there’s content.

    • Girl on the net says:

      “Even if not, you know… there’s content.” You know me so well! =)

      And yeah you’re right – it’s definitely something that relationship (or more-than-casual) should know, but then there’s that thing of them going to read my blog and seeing that so much of it is about one particular dude. I reckon that’d be intimidating for almost anyone, tbh. But still. I guess when I’m looking for dudes to bang, I definitely need them to be difficult to intimidate anyway, so it’s a good way to gauge if they’re game for fun stuff.

      But yeah, I think Fuzzy’s approach is definitely a good one – thanks fuzzy! As long as I can get to a point of trust without actually lying, that’d be a neat way to do it. And I’d definitely never write about anyone these days without their express consent. Some of the earlier stuff on the blog didn’t quite abide by that rule (it was more ‘if they’re definitely not identifiable and I have anonymised details etc etc then it’s probably OK’). These days I’d be a lot more circumspect about it, I reckon.

  • SpaceCaptainSmith says:

    Counterpoint to the argument for honesty: *not* telling a partner about GOTN until it’s way too late into the relationship has the potential to be a hilarious romantic comedy plot, which Hollywood has convinced me can only end happily!

    (Irony of course; but the last line here does remind me of the famous Julia Roberts line in Notting Hill: ‘I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her’.)

    Good luck anyway! For all these problems, you’re arguably better placed to find the right sexual/romantic partner than most of us; so if you can’t make it work, maybe we should all just give up and marry our neighbours. :)

    • Girl on the net says:

      Haha YES on the romcom plot. I feel there’s a hilarious montage somewhere of someone wanking themselves silly in all manner of different ways to try and get to grips with some of the shit I’ve written when they eventually find out.

      I don’t think I’m after a romantic partner – romance always tends to sneak up on me rather than me actually going looking for it. Some casual, friendly fucking wouldn’t go amiss though!

  • Carolyn says:

    I don’t have any advice but this post made me realize again, in the strongest way possible, that this is fully my favorite fucking blog on the internet, for its honesty, its kindness, it’s beauty, and the raw truth you honor your readers with. Thank you.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Blimey, wow – thank you so much Carolyn! <3 That's really kind of you to say and makes me extremely happy!

  • Vneil says:

    Your last problem reminds me the problem some men (including me) in their late 20s or 30s face(d): when to tell the girl that I’m a virgin? However, I think your case requires a different answer. If I’d were you, I’d tell the bloke about sex blogging around date number 3 or 4. By that time you can probably see if he’s someone who can be trusted with this information.
    One more note about anonymity: if I’d happen to fuck your brains out, but the relationship would not work, I’d like you to write about it and include my e-mail address – I think that would help me find girls to fuck :-)

    • Jul says:

      Do you think a woman who didn’t feel warmly enough about you to date you would be interested in using the website she makes her (anonymous) living from to pimp you out?

      • Girl on the net says:

        Haha well I have definitely recommended men I’ve had to other people, if it turned out they weren’t a good fit for me but I thought a friend might like them. So it’s not impossible. I wouldn’t promote someone on the blog, though, that’d be way too weird (and also a massive breach of anonymity).

        Vneil, in answer to your question, I think it’s going to depend on whenever you feel comfortable saying it. It may be a strange thing to blurt out in your first message, but it’s not something that should put off anyone who is interested in you. You might be interested in this post: which tackles a little of this.

  • ftandhubby says:

    I have to think there are many, many, many available men who are readers of your blog who having learned of your being single are trying to figure out how to meet you. I’m sure you’ve considered this and of course the difficulty is filtering out the curious from the sincerely interested guys who would love to meet someone like you.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Yeah, honestly I have been wildly disappointed by how few men have got in touch to say ‘can we bang now?’ – I mean obviously I’d have to be super cautious about it because of the anonymity thing, but I’d definitely be open to an interesting approach in the form of a thousand-word essay on what they’re like and why they think we should bang!

  • Ferns Ferns says:

    “I realise this falls under the category of ‘dating problems that are remarkably specific’ but it’s the biggest ethical conundrum. At what point do I tell the people I might fuck that I write a fairly popular blog about fucking?”

    Replace ‘fucking’ with ‘femdom’ and well, hello…

    Let me know when you resolve this, then explain to me in excruciating detail HOW you resolved it, mmkay?


    • Girl on the net says:

      Haha well I can’t promise I’ll ever find a decent answer tbh, but if any inspiration strikes I’ll let you know. =) We should have a forum for swapping tips!

  • John Cowan says:

    I take it that GOTN in this post stands for “gem of the night”. And not as in a jewelry brand.

  • Tomas says:

    Okay, I’ll be honest then and say that I’ve been trying to figure out how would I go about asking you for a few pints if and when I go back to London without sounding like a total creep.

    I don’t mean this as a proposition or anything right now, and I hope not to be weird, just trying to get across that there’s at least some people who’ve got no issue with the possibility of showing up in a post (even with the knowledge that it might not end up being a great one), and.. well, I don’t know how much what I’ve learned reading you translates to reality, but I can’t help but to feel we’d click, although of course that’s as much fantasy as anything else.

    Anyway, again, I really hope I’m not coming across as a creep. We’re all rooting for you :3

    • Girl on the net says:

      Ah thank you! That’s very sweet, and a lovely approach, and you do not come across as a creep at all. I appreciate your kind words (and the offer!). I think one of the tricky things is that people who like GOTN expect GOTN, then when I show up it’s always gonna be extremely disappointing/different/weird. But yeah, I have been for dates with ppl who know GOTN and I have had fun, so it’s not something I’d totally rule out! Not right now though, right now I am a complete clusterfuck of a human being who can focus only on one thing. Hoping I can get back to my regular self v soon though =) Drop me a message when you’re in town.

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